Tim Seifert’s 84 not out trumped an unbeaten 99 by Mohammed Hafeez as New Zealand claimed the second Twenty20 against Pakistan by nine wickets in Hamilton on Sunday to take the series with a game to spare.
New Zealand chased down Pakistan’s 163 for six with four balls to spare.Kane Williamson, back in the side after paternity leave, hit the winning runs to be not out 57.
The Black Caps won the first match in the three-match series by five wickets with seven balls remaining.Opener Seifert batted through the innings and although denied a century because of the quality of his partners, he did match his career-best 84 against India last year.
He put on 35 for the first wicket with Martin Guptill, who was out for 21, and shared in a 129-run stand with Williamson.The 40-year-old Hafeez, however, was almost on his own for Pakistan with a career-best 99.
Mohammad Rizwan’s 22 was the next best score. Hafeez made up for his first-ball dismissal in game one with a rollicking 57-ball display in which he belted 10 fours and five sixes.
Tim Southee was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with four for 21.
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat. “It looks to be a very good pitch and we want to get a good score on the board,” said stand-in captain Shadab Khan. Shadab also won the toss and opted to bat in the first match only to lose by five wickets on Friday.
With the injured Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman still not available, the pressure was on Abdullah Shafique and Hafeez to get runs in Hamilton.
“We were rusty in the last game but hopefully we will do better here,” Shadab had said with Pakistan keeping the same lineup.
New Zealand made four changes, with Kane Williamson returning from paternity leave to lead the side and with Test bowlers Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson being added.
It meant there was no room for Jacob Duffy who, in the first match, produced the best figures by a New Zealand bowler in a Twenty20 debut.
“It’s a good surface here usually, we need to do the job first up with the ball,” Williamson had said.“It was a good performance at Eden Park and it’s important that we stick to our plans and adapt to the new conditions.”
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Kane Williamson (capt), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan (capt), Khushdil Shah, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.